Pan Preparation

Proper pan preparation will result in easy removal of the finish baked goods. There are several preparation methods that work well. Read the recipe carefully to identify the proper method to use. Some baked goods do not require special pan preparation so it is important to follow the recipe's instructions. Prepare the pan before mixing the batter so that the batter can be added to the pan as soon as it is done and then placed in the oven. This is important with some batters because they may loose their leavening power if they are left to stand too long. Some common pan preparation methods are shown below.

Grease and Flour Pans

  • Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with a visible coating of shortening or butter/margarine. Keep fingers from becoming greasy by using a folded piece of wax paper to spread the shortening. Cooking oil spray could also be used. For some baked goods, greasing the pan is the only necessary preparation.
  • If the recipe calls for flouring the pan, spoon a heaping tablespoon of flour into the bottom of the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan so that the flour coats all surfaces. To coat the sides, hold the pan upright and lightly tap the pan as you rotate the pan. Get rid of excess flour by dumping it into a trash can and tapping the bottom to release any loose flour.

Lining with Parchment Paper

  • Grease the bottom and sides of the pan before adding the parchment paper. Keep fingers from becoming greasy by using a folded piece of wax paper to spread the shortening.
  • When lining a cake pan with parchment paper, set the pan on the paper and trace the bottom before greasing the pan. Cut the paper along the drawn line, grease the pan and then place the parchment on the bottom of the pan.
  • To line a loaf pan with parchment paper, cut two strips of paper. One the width of the sides and one the width of the ends. Make booth strips long enough so that they hang over the edges and then place them in a greased loaf pan. The strips of parchment can be use to lift the baked goods from the pan.
  • If the recipe instructs, grease the top of the parchment paper using a folded piece of wax paper.

It is important that the parchment paper lies flat in the bottom of the pan. Any wrinkles in the paper can cause problems during baking.

If you want to line the sides with parchment paper, cut strips that are wide enough to overlap 1 1/2 inches on the bottom of the pan and are 1 inch above the rim of the pan. Fold the strip lengthwise at 1 1/2 inches. Cut the 1 1/2 inches at 1 inch intervals up to the fold. This will allow the strip to curve as it is placed in a round cake pan. For square pans, the paper should not be cut along the edge. The strips are placed in the pan and the corners should be creased by hand so that they fit tight.

Parchment paper is also used to line cookie sheets and jelly roll pans. Wax paper can be use in place of parchment paper in some instances. It can be used in cake pans but should not be used on cookie sheets where it would be exposed to direct heat.


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